Civil Rights Lawyer Washington D.C.
Although the second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence begins with the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” the tragic truth is that in this country, there are still people who are discriminated against and whose rights are denied through unfair practices. In these situations, an experienced attorney can advocate for the person who is being denied their civil rights and liberties that all people in this country are guaranteed under the law and by the United States Constitution.
If you have been a victim of discrimination or other civil rights violations, call Eric Siegel Law to find out how a civil rights lawyer in Washington D.C. can help. Our firm has been advocating for clients for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you the justice you deserve.
Some of the different types of cases that our firm can help with include:
- Discrimination against an individual because of their age
- Discrimination against an individual because of their gender
- Discrimination against an individual because of their natural origin
- Discrimination against an individual because of their race or color of their skin
- Discrimination against an individual because of their religion
- Discrimination against an individual with disabilities
- Discrimination against residents in government-run nursing homes
- Employee rights
- Equal pay issues
- Voting rights
Any individual or group of individuals who feels their civil rights have been violated should contact our firm to discuss their legal options and whether they have grounds to file a civil rights lawsuit against the party or parties who is responsible for these violations.
While many of the cases a civil rights lawyer represents clients deal with discrimination because of the victim’s race, ethnicity, age, or gender in civil cases involving employment, housing, or other services, a civil rights lawyer can also represent victims whose rights were denied in criminal cases. Each Washington D.C. civil rights lawyer at our firm have handled criminal cases where the following civil rights were violated:
- Cruel and unusual punishment
- Unreasonable search and seizure
Civil Rights Cases Related to Peaceful Protest
For obvious reasons, people flock from all over the country – and sometimes from all over the world – to protest and engage in civil disobedience on the streets of Washington, D.C. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to both assemble and to expression of personal views through the act of peaceful protest as a form of free speech. However, these rights are not unlimited. Protesters are not allowed to protest anywhere they please, at any time they please, and in any manner that they please. Just as the freedom of assembly and the freedom of speech are curtailed in various ways related to circumstances that have nothing to do with protest, the government and law enforcement are permitted to place certain restrictions on the “when” “where” and “how” of peaceful protest. With that said, neither the government nor law enforcement can place limitless restrictions on the rights to assemble and to exercise free speech related to protest. When individuals and agencies in positions of authority overstep their bounds and infringe upon the constitutionally protected rights of protesters, affected protesters may have grounds upon which to file legal action.
Why It’s Important to Consult an Attorney in re: a Protest-Related Arrest
If you’ve been arrested while exercising your free speech and assembly rights peacefully and you believe that your rights may have been infringed upon leading up to your arrest or during your arrest, it’s imperative that you not only seek criminal defense counsel, you need to request personalized guidance from a civil rights attorney as well. You may have grounds to file legal action related to illegal search and seizure, First Amendment rights violations, illegal arrest, brutality or excessive force, etc. Additionally, you may need to have your rights protected in the event that civil action is filed against you alleging that you destroyed property or otherwise violated civil law, or in the event that your arrest and/or protest activity has impacted your educational, employment, and/or immigration status. Seeking legal guidance proactively can help to ensure that any negative consequences you may be subjected to as a result of your protest activity are minimized to the greatest extent possible under the circumstances.
Are You Getting Ready to Protest?
If you haven’t yet been arrested related to protest activity, you’re simply concerned about your rights as an aspiring protester, don’t be afraid to reach out for legal guidance before you hit the streets. Knowing your rights and how to protect them can help to ensure that you stay safe while exercising your First Amendment rights lawfully. There is no way to avoid legal risk entirely while protesting. However, in protest-related situations, knowledge truly can translate into power.
Exercising Your Right to Free Speech and Assembly
People of the United States of America have long been fiercely protective of their rights. Early leaders believed this to be so important that the first ten Amendments of the Constitution are known as the “Bill of Rights.” Unfortunately, for most of U.S. history, these rights were reserved primarily for white men of property.
Even though the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, the struggle for those rights had started decades earlier. Today, those rights are under assault as they have not been for years. A civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. knows how to assist those who resist those assaults, whether in the courtroom, the legislature or on the streets. If you are involved in or planning a protest, it is smart to know where to get legal advice.
Before You March
While the First Amendment guarantees the right of every American to free speech and peaceable assembly, there are a few issues to keep in mind. Legally, protesters are prohibited from blocking traffic (vehicular as well as pedestrian), nor are they allowed to destroy property and threaten others. In most cases, protesters respect these restrictions. However, when their message is controversial, tempers rise and violence can result. There are also many instances of law enforcement and the military going too far in their attempts to control the situation.
If you are planning to hold a protest rally or other assembly, it is a smart idea to call Eric Siegel Law and consult with a civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. to understand what your rights and obligations are and how to stay on the right side of the law.
If You Are Arrested
Some protesters go in fully expecting to be taken into custody, and in fact, intend to be arrested. Others may find themselves caught up in the sweep. Either way, your civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. can help you understand what to expect and how to deal with law enforcement. If you were demonstrating peacefully and found yourself arrested and accused anyway, that can constitute a civil rights violation. In this situation, you may have grounds for legal action against the arresting officer or even the entire department. Common violations by authorities can include:
- Illegal arrest
- Police brutality
- Illegal search and seizure
Any of these could constitute grounds for a lawsuit. As civil rights lawyers, the Eric Siegel Law Firm can also represent you in this kind of litigation.
5 Questions To Ask Your Potential Civil Rights Lawyer in Washington, D.C.
Just because you’re behaving peacefully while protesting in Washington, D.C., doesn’t mean your civil rights are guaranteed. When you find yourself facing discrimination at the hands of police, the next step may be to speak with legal counsel in order to seek remediation. You have your pick of hundreds, so how do you determine if a potential civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C. is a good match for you? Here are five questions to ask.
1. How many similar cases have you won?
What is the lawyer’s track record for cases similar to yours? It doesn’t matter if the potential lawyer is number one in the area if he’s exclusively litigated in family law but you need help with civil rights violations. The type and number of cases won is important to know so you may choose well.
2. What is my case’s likely outcome?
Honesty between attorney and client is key for any civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C., or elsewhere. When you ask this question, do the lawyers gloss over the answer quickly? Or do they provide extensive explanations of possible outcomes and next actions? Eric Siegel Law upholds a high standard of integrity you can depend on.
3. What are your hourly rates, fees, and other potential costs associated with my case?
Your civil rights are priceless, but hiring an attorney decidedly isn’t. Ask what the hourly rate is and what additional fees and charges might accrue before hiring your attorney. Ask if some of your case may be worked on by paralegals at a lower hourly rate, and whether financing options may be available.
4. What skills or training do you have (other than a law degree)?
Although every civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C., has a law degree, not every one has the same training and expertise. Ask potential lawyers about their interest and skills in the subject matter pertinent to your case. Eric Siegel Law has particular focus on a variety of cases, including civil rights violations.
5. What is your preferred method of contact?
Lawyers of previous generations relied on good old snail mail and telephone, but today they may predominantly use fax, email, and text. Ask what method your potential civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C., prefers and be sure to state your preference as well. In law, time is money, so it’s a good idea to communicate efficiently.
These questions provide a great start for selecting the right civil rights lawyer, but be sure to come up with your own as well!
3 Things To Know About Civil Rights Violations
Civil rights violations are more common than many people realize. It is important to understand the facts about discrimination and other types of civil rights violations. If you have experienced a violation of your civil rights, keep these facts in mind as you prepare to contact a civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C.
It Can Happen to Anyone
Civil rights violations take many forms. Discrimination against marginalized groups is, unfortunately, a very common type of civil rights violation. Other civil rights violations, including police brutality, wrongful arrest and unreasonable search and seizure, can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender or race. A civil rights lawyer in Washington, D.C., can represent you if your civil rights have been violated.
Some people believe that prisoners can’t experience civil rights violations because they do not have rights. In reality, the opposite is true; prisoners are highly vulnerable to civil rights violations. While incarcerated people do not have all of the same rights and freedoms as people who are not incarcerated, the Constitution still protects them from cruel and unusual punishment.
It’s Not Your Fault
Some people hesitate to contact Eric Siegel Law about a civil rights violation because they are ashamed or feel they are somehow to blame for the way they were treated. Perpetrators of civil rights violations often attempt to blame the victim to avoid responsibility for their actions. For example, an employer may attempt to cover up discrimination by inventing excuses to discipline, fire or avoid promoting an employee.
If you have experienced discrimination or another type of civil rights violation, it is important to realize that it is not your fault and you have rights. A civil rights lawyser in Washington, D.C., can help you file a suit against the party that violated your civil rights.
A Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, many people wrongly assume that there is nothing to be done about a civil rights violation. The truth is that laws exist to protect people from discrimination and other civil rights violations, and there is legal recourse if your rights have been violated.
A lawyer can help you file a civil rights lawsuit and represent you in court to help you recover any compensation you are entitled to. In addition, a lawyer at Eric Siegel Law may be able to defend you from any criminal charges or countersuits brought against you in relation to the civil rights violation. Having proper legal representation can improve your chances of winning your case.
Call Our Firm Today
At Eric Siegel Law, we understand how deep of an impact being a victim of unfair and unjust discrimination and/or harassment can have on a client’s life. Our legal team is dedicated to ensuring that all individuals’ rights are protected from discrimination because of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, or race. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, contact our office right away to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a civil rights lawyer Washington D.C. clients recommend and find out how our firm can help you.